In Cabo, there's a secret tunnel that takes you to a resort on one of the most coveted stretches of beach in the area.
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When I heard Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal had unveiled a bar concept dedicated to rare tequilas and mezcals called Agave Study, I pictured a tucked-away, speakeasy-style den. But based on the sheer spectacle of this resort — with 119 ocean-facing suites on 24 acres skirting the Pacific Ocean — I should have known the brand-new Agave Study would be nothing short of breathtaking.

Aerial view Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal
Credit: Blake Marvin/Courtesy of Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal

The alfresco Agave Study is in the very center of the property, gazing down on the resort's three pools, a pristine stretch of beach, and the Pacific Ocean beyond. Strewn throughout are rare (and I mean capital-R, you-can't-find-this-anywhere-else Rare) bottles of tequila and mezcal, some organized on hand-carved bar carts, others arranged in a shrine-like display among Agave leaves on the stone floor, and still more populating an impressive, cherry-wood bar about twice my height. The tasting setup is similar to what you'd find in a Napa Valley winery — with four glasses, detailed tasting notes, and food pairings displayed opposite leather-bound chairs. (The major difference between this bar and a Napa tasting room? Your seat faces the ocean.)

Agave Study at Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal
Credit: Studio Caribe/Courtesy of Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal

After sampling a limited-edition Clase Azul joven and sipping small-batch raicilla from a crystal goblet as the sunset cast brilliant, pink- and orange-colored reflections on the resort pools below, my husband and I walked a few hundred feet to the hotel's most-celebrated restaurant: El Farallon. There, at the restaurant built into a cliff at the very tip of Baja California, we savored Ruinart by the glass and freshly caught spiny lobsters, served grilled with drawn butter, before stumbling back to our plunge-pool suite and falling asleep to the sounds of the ocean.

El Farallon Cangrejos Terrace at Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal
Credit: Chris Wimpey/Courtesy of Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal

It is, perhaps, based on this description, wholly unsurprising that Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal was named to T+L's Top 500 Hotels list — which was just released today. The idea behind this list — "our directory of the most trusted, best-loved hotels," as described in our May 2022 Hotels issue, pulled straight from our annual World's Best Awards survey — is simple: that a hotel has the potential to not just make a vacation, but to be the motivating reason for travel in the first place. And in Los Cabos, where resort choice is crucial to the travel experience, that couldn't be more true.

Waldorf Astoria Pedregal is in Cabo San Lucas, which to be completely honest, is not the area of Cabo I'm typically drawn to. The main drag of Cabo San Lucas is not what I'd call an authentic Baja experience. It's a lot of tourist-trap restaurants and bars with shot-and-beer deals; there's a Señor Frog's, if that paints a picture for your spring-break-nostalgic heart.

And while Pedregal is actually walking distance from that Cabo San Lucas strip, it feels a world away. A massive cliff separates the oceanfront resort from the center of town. After signing in at the gate, guests drive through the 1,000-foot Dos Mares tunnel — and then emerge in paradise, at a serene, ultra-luxurious hotel set on one of the most coveted stretches of beach in Cabo.

The exterior of Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal
Credit: Blake Marvin/Courtesy of Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal

The setting gives Waldorf Astoria Pedregal guests one of the best views in Cabo, because it's situated at the southernmost tip of the Baja California peninsula — where the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific Ocean. The entire resort is built into a cliff looking out over the ocean; Pedregal, in fact, literally means "where rocks are."

While El Farallon and Agave Study are both set into the bluffs, allowing guests to enjoy the Pacific Ocean views from on high, there's one other on-site outpost that takes full advantage of the gorgeous locale: the Champagne bar set right on the beach. Called Va y Viene (which translates to "goes and comes" — like the tide, get it?), the shack serves only top-tier Champagnes you wouldn't normally find by the glass. There are no chairs, only 12 swings hanging from the thatched roof, where guests can sip $90-a-glass Champagne in bikinis (which I did, and yes, to answer your forthcoming question, it did make me feel like Kendall Jenner).

The Va y Viene Beach Bar at Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal
Credit: Courtesy of Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal

Champagne by the glass is something of a property amenity — as, by the way, is a daily "Guacamole Happy Hour," when complimentary chips, guac, and salsa are delivered to your room. Because if you miss the Tattinger by the glass at Va y Viene (pro tip: don't), El Farallon is pouring glasses of Ruinart, Billecart-Salmon, and Veuve Clicquot, and pairing each glass with complex, flavored salts before dinner.

Though I was arguably distracted by the jovens and the bruts and the nine-course Travesía taco tasting experience at yet another on-site restaurant (Don Manuels), I found just as much opportunity to detox at the resort. To offset my poolside palomas — made with a downright addictive house-made grapefruit soda — I hit the Peloton every morning at the gym and spent an afternoon at the Waldorf Astoria Spa, where they offer a slew of treatments that utilize various Baja-sourced healing stones. The spa unfolds out to yet another pool — this one with fountains cascading down from the resort's main terrace, creating waterfalls in the delicious soaking area.

And yet, few areas were more relaxing than our one-bedroom suite — with a fire pit, two terraces, and a plunge pool, from which my husband and I spotted four whales over the course of our three-night stay. It should be noted that every suite at the resort has a plunge pool, so you, too, can whale watch while sipping coffee off a floating tray in your private pool.

View from a suite at Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal
Credit: Chris Wimpey/Courtesy of Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal

My favorite part of the suite, however, was that from its fourth-floor vantage point, I had a view not just of the ocean but of the whole resort. I'd watch as guests meandered toward the Champagne beach bar in pool garb, or headed down the path to El Farallon, dressed to the nines. Out the front door of my suite, I had a view of the Dos Mares tunnel, where I could see guests emerge to the most pleasant realization: that sometimes, there's not just a light at the end of a tunnel, there is instead a sun-drenched resort with a Champagne beach bar.

You can book your room at Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal here and find the newly released T+L 500 list here.